Windows 8 music and video apps: Integration with Xbox, new life for Zunehttp://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/02/windows-8-music-and-video-apps-integration-with-xbox-new-life-for-zune.ars
By Jon Brodkin | Published 2 days ago
With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft unveiled test previews of new music and video apps.
It's a sign the company is trying to build viable competitors to iTunes and Amazon while taking advantage of the Xbox 360's massive popularity and attempting to resurrect the moribund Zune service.
The Xbox Companion Beta also features in the Xbox Live Games app, another pre-installed portion of Windows 8, which provides game downloads for computers and the ability to purchase PC and Xbox console games. This builds on an Xbox Companion app for Windows Phones, which promises to "search for your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and games, and play them on your Xbox from your phone."
The video app is still a bit rough; exactly how the Windows 8/Xbox 360 integration will work in practice remains to be seen. "Xbox Live in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes games, video, music and Xbox companion applications," Xbox Live executive Larry Hryb wrote in a blog post today. "In the preview, these apps are just a taste of the features that we?ll be delivering at launch." The blog post did not specify what other features will be available at launch.
In the Music app, Microsoft relies on the Zune software service to sell songs, despite the Zune hardware product line discontinuing last year after a long struggle.
The Music application force quit a couple times while I was trying to play samples, but this can probably be attributed to a combination of running Windows 8 in a virtual machine and the "preview" nature of the software.